2014 40 Hour Famine

Lachlan and Caitlin this year participated on the 40 Hour Famine again to raise money and awareness for global hunger. Lachlan’s 3rd year and Caitlin’s 2nd.

Lachlan was co captian for the USQ Toowoomba team. Hannah Wilton also joined Caitlin again and they did great!!

Well done to all of you! I would love it if each of you could leave a comment to let us know how you went and what you learnt from this experience.


2014 Caribou Reunion!

Anniversary of 50 years was a great weekend away in Newcastle. Friday was meet and greet BBQ. Saturday was a dinner and Sunday was farewell Breakfast.  Had a great time travelled there with Tammy. Meet up with a few ex 38 members Strikey and Karen, Pete, BO, and met new 38 Squadron  members Luke, Ben and Chris and many oldies from the beginnings of 35 and 38 Squadrons.

Matt, Tammy and Julie
Matt, Tammy and Julie

2014 Dating, Double Life, and Role Playing – Double thumbs up if its with your partner!!

I have decided to write a post about our little trial as it is helping us tremendously and if anything I share reaches a cord with you and can help where your at them I’m happy to pay it forward.

So a little bit of back ground leading up to the dating without going into too much detail.   We have been married a long time (19yrs), not happy with where we are at, need to get some direction in life and our relationship.  Feel we are in a rut, too familiar, complacent and take each other for granted, which is very common in relationships, but what you do about it is not so common as we are all different. We are very happy with our kids and their education, our choice to move here for the serenity and buying 5 acres as a trial for rural lifestyle. So to sum up in essence we have achieved our goals here and need to get ready for the next phase of our lives. But due to how we were feeling such as being in a rut, bogged down financially and emotionally from bills, tired, cranky and over it. This prompted a discussion that lead to us not being happy in generally with where we were at. We knew we still loved each other and still wanted to be together but we also knew something had to change to get the ball rolling to improve our communication.  Communication has always been one of our strong points however with health issues and stress this has faulted some what over the last 2 years.

A discussion about feeling unhappy unfolded one night and I asked what we had in common? What will we do when we don’t have kids to look after and its just us? We didn’t know… which led me to suggested why don’t we start dating to get to know each other again, cause life had us so busy we starting forgetting the small stuff that held the big stuff together.  We discussed how we could go about doing this and decided we would have to pretend we have just met or at least try to, this way we could separate ourselves from our stresses and respond as a friend and not so familiar.  Which when you think about it you don’t speak to your friends the same way you speak with the one you love. We started with a candle lit dinner at home and sat away from the kids.  They were very supportive and liked the idea, which took me by surprise as I thought they would think we were silly.  So it became quite exciting. My date offered to help me with a few odd jobs around the house as like most people we will happily help others but we put our own stuff on hold. So this was great, in doing this we started to think about how we talk to each other and having to think before speaking so we were responding as a friend to a friend shed a whole new light on our communication and with this little effort how different we were starting to feel and how we responded naturally this was made easier as we were trying to pretend we weren’t married.  It was a little nerve racking and awkward at dinner, not knowing what to talk about.  It did get easier, we had to correct each other a few times where we answered to familiarly and had to change our response by the end of the night that was referred to as in a past life together, which became quite funny by the end.

July 2014

Our First Date Candle lit dinner with Matthew (my builder boyfriend) and wine in front of the fire…. first “date” in 19 years. Our kids liked each other so much they are almost the same person LMAO. Love my kids they surprise me with their thoughtfulness and humor when I least expect it. Would love to see more of it “Just saying” lol. Huge thank you to Caitlin for being our waitress last night you are gorgeous xo 

Had a second dinner date with Matthew tonight late night coffee due to umpire training but none the less our second date.

We have seen each other every day whether it be for coffee or dinner, as a date trying to keep our two lives separate for now.  It is very tricky and we are fumbling through it, but with a bit of effort and encouragement it is also alot of fun and very exciting to get to know each other again.

Aug 2014

Matthew wrote – Well, last night was my fourth date with a beautiful woman that I am getting to know better, Julie. I surprised her and took her to coffee and to watch Mrs Browns Boys D’ Movie at Indooroopilly. I had a great night chatting and seeing the movie, which was fine, but the company and conversation was better than the movie.

Quiet casual dinners planned this week with the kids getting to know my new boyfriend Matthew. xo

We have officially decided to take the next step and move from dating to girlfriend and boyfriend but taking things very slowly.  It is helping us work through topics that used to angst us and it is slowly slowly and gently discussing them but so far we have made a lot of progress and I would highly recommend anyone to give it a go if their relationship is a little stale or having trouble talking about stuff.

All of our friends have been hugely supportive and have praised us for doing this.  Which is also a relief as there are always boo hoo er’s.  I didn’t get married to live with a stranger so a relationship is always a work in progress no matter how good it is.  One of our friends pointed out it is basically role playing and in a sense it is I guess we just hadn’t thought of it that way.  If it is going to re light the embers and keep things interesting and fun for another 20 years its well worth hopping on the circus train and giving it a go.  The key is that both parties are prepared to give it a genuine go.

We are totally enjoying this journey!

Sept 2014

Having and owl moment – So excited that we are making positive improvements in our life and our relationship… and of course our family. Life is many things good and bad but it is a journey that creates so many memories but most of all it is an adventure that you are supposed to adapt to the changes that’s how we grow. We have started a new chapter in our life which will get a little crazy in the coming months (with my boyfriend and his kids moving in LOL) but can not wait so impatient!! 

Now to get organised for my hot date with my boyfriend. Out to umpire dinner.

Things are moving along great have had to make time to be dating which is a challenge some weeks when life takes over but so worth the effort. We went away for our anniversary (19th) only the second time we have left the kids on their own for the weekend.

Oct 2014

Went away to Caloundra for our Anniversary. Great food for lunch. Then a proposal was made. She said YES! 

We are starting a new life (stage) together and can’t wait. So happy with our life right now. Love you forever and 5 days Matthew xo.

Matthew re proposed to re new our vows in some description next year for our 20th Wedding Anniversary and as a commitment to spending another 20+ years together. Four months ago Matthew and I committed to a transformation of our relationship and our health. We were in a what some would term a “RUT”. Sick of our lifestyle, feeling like we were just going through the motions in life, stressed out and tired, doing the best we could. As allot of you can probably relate to when your stressed you often take it out on the ones you love and the niceties that we use with our friends or strangers we get complacent with and don’t take the time to use with our loved ones. We were no different and this just added to the situation. With Lockie turning 18 this year really highlighted that to us that in a few years it was going to be just us our kids are getting older and would start their own lives. We didn’t want to get to that stage in our life and discover we were living with a stranger. We have changed over the last 19 years so the decision to start dating to get to know each other again although was a little silly at times and awkward to start with taught us so much about each other and helped us find a way forward (especially from a communication level) in all aspects of our life. The cleanse was amazing and complimented this transition in every aspect. Feeling fitter, more energetic and getting that zest for life back truly provided a great foundation for us as well. Without both of us making the effort “and I don’t say that lightly” it was difficult at times to keep up the act in dating and pretending we were getting to know each other for the first time and finding a balance with our real married life and our new relationship (which at times meant putting dating on hold to deal with life and then trying to get our momentum back), coupled with that a nutritional cleanse like nothing we had ever tried before. We had always hoped to renew our vows for our 20th Anniversary it is a milestone that deserves noting, but 4 months ago our hearts were not in it and we would have simply been going through the motions and its meaning would have been lost. We both wanted it to mean something, the knowing that we still want to grow old with our best friend and that our love for each other is stronger than ever. I feel truly blessed and so grateful to have my best friend back (whom I lost for a quite a few years). We are ready to celebrate for the right reasons and sign up for at least another 20.

Nov 2014

Since getting to know my Fiancee (again lol) from July what a whirlwind of ups, downs and busy, busy, busy. If this is any indication of 2015 Bring it! Loving getting out more and spending time together Matthew! Can’t wait to celebrate next October. Here’s to new beginnings ! 

We can’t afford to do allot most weeks and some of you may be wondering how we can afford all the dates lol Well let me share our secret. I bought scoupon and groupon vouchers for us to use leading up to Christmas so when we have a bad fortnight we can still have a nice date out and it only costs petrol and maybe drinks. They have some awesome deals so check them out.

Funny how things happen – When we went to Caloundra and Matthew proposed, on our way home we went to Brisbane for an appointment and decided to use another of our voucher for a grazing platter at Moo Moo’s Restaurant which was lovely. But before going I needed the toilet and went to the first pub be could find I quickly discover that by chance we ended up at The Victory which is where we first met 20 years earlier. Went for our appointment only to discover that they were closed due to unexpected surgery so on the way back to the car we decided to have one drink at the Vic for old time sake which was great reminiscing. Well that and with getting re engaged was a highlight for this year for me but it doesn’t stop there lol. Our recent dinner date at the Indian Restaurant at Booval when leaving was still early and whilst in the car park Matt suggest we go for a drink and I said sure. Pull up at the lights to work out whether we were heading right or left and looked up again by chance to see the Bowls Club (Swifts) which happens to be where we had our wedding reception lol so we went straight through and dropped in.

Bring on 2015!

2014 Our first Real Family Holiday in 15 years

We booked our first family holiday and we are off to Port Douglas to stay at the Ramada. Our first leg,  will be Brisbane to Proserpine. We will picked Julie up from her massage and then headed off.  With Lachlan getting his P’s we now have three able drivers, although he was quite capable on his L’s. Google Maps says we will take 12 hours and 41 minutes so I think we will stop a few times along the way, so we expect to arrive around 2 am Sunday. 🙂

The second leg was from Proserpine to Port Douglas.  Google says this leg will take 8 hours and 21 minutes.  We can’t check in until 4 pm on Monday which is also Julie’s birthday.  To break the trip up and not be in the car all day on her birthday we are having a stop over in Townsville.

Can’t Wait!! Time for family fun!! Arriving on Julie’s Birthday….

So we have returned from our first family holiday to Port Douglas which was quite eventful as we had a cyclone off the coast which called our holiday a little short as we left early to prevent being stuck up there.

But also got to see Nanny and Poppy and Uncle Jamie at Proserpine, and The Hogans in Townsville which was great to catch up.

2014 Family Update

This year so far has been quite culminating, blending and starting anew in some respects. Started with Julie having surgery in January. Lockie has moved on to uni at USQ in Toowoomba, studying a Bachelor of Arts with majoring in Archaeology. So so proud of Lachlan the first in our family to go to uni. Love you so much! Now for my eyes to stop leaking lol. Now have all school stuff ready for a new school year. Slowly getting they’re.

Trying to complete first Reno so far has been a challenge with time and money. Matthew has done well refereeing Touch Football, and has moved to the Brisbane competition to umpire in AFL, which will be his 3rd year umpiring moving from the Darling Downs.

One starting one finished
One starting one finished
First Day of high school together
First Day of high school together

Caitlin has moved onto high school, and not only is involved with Dance Troupe and got selected to do an extension maths program. Announcement Caity is a teenager.

March Well very exciting day yesterday, I applied to do TPP Course at USQ and got in for Sem 1, found out at 1pm yesterday and orientation was 5.30pm lol, and Lockie’s log book has been approved YAY! Matt and I had a weekend away at Caloundra, and I was unwell which put a bit of a downer on it. First weekend kids at home alone. So proud of them thank you for being the responsible kids we are blessed with. Was still a lovely weekend. Had Thai for dinner and OMG was the best ever!! Can’t wait to take the kids next time we go. Lachlan got his P’s.

May Have enjoyed catching up with Uncle Damien and Aunty Nat, James and Matilda now they have moved to sunny QLD. Justin turned 16. Mothers Day Lockie rolled his car thankfully it wasn’t too bad but too much damage to fix. Happy birthday Matthew our 20th we’ve shared. Granddad visited.

Damien, Rob and Matt
Damien, Rob and Matt

Off to Ipswich Civic Centre watching Caitlin perform in her first Esteiddford so excited!  Justin also won the Logo competition (IT designed) at school this year. Nanny Zee also came for a visit.

Thomas will be finishing year 10 this year getting ready for senior, and still working out what his interests are.

We went on our first family holiday to Port Douglas which was quite eventful as we had a cyclone off the coast which called our holiday a little short as we left early to prevent being stuck up there. But also got to see Nanny and Poppy and Uncle Jamie at Proserpine, and The Hogans in Townvsille which was great to catch up.

Struthers/Hogan kids
Struthers/Hogan kids
Cocktails in the pool
Cocktails in the pool
Cooling off at Airlie Beach
Cooling off at Airlie Beach
From the Daintree
From the Daintree

July Matthew and I started re dating. Candle lit dinner with Matthew (my builder boyfriend) and wine in front of the fire…. first “date” in 19 years. Our kids liked each other so much they are almost the same person LMAO. Love my kids they surprise me with their thoughtfulness and humor when I least expect it. Would love to see more of it Just saying lol. Huge thank you to Caitlin for being our waitress last night you are gorgeous xo. Thomas turned 15.  Lockie and Caity participated in 40 hour famine again. Had a second dinner date with Matthew so far he likes my cooking and our kids get along, tonight late night coffee. I completed my TPP Course at USQ (which is a pathway to uni like a bridging course) with a credit and distinction and was offered a position to do a Bachelor of Arts this semester however I have deferred at this stage.  All in all so far very, very proud of our kids they are doing well in their lives both academically and socially.
Aug Movie Date with Matthew to see Mrs Browns Boys. Awesome 21st garden party with Nikita, Nikki, Nick, Shania, Michael, Akira, Cooper, Thomas, Luke and Keetties friends… Xo Matthew and I started a nutritional cleanse getting healthier, fitter and ready for summer. 30 day Challenge, new experience it’s like an adventure.

Sept So excited that we are making positive improvements in our life and our relationship… and of course our family. Esteiddford for Caity in Gatton, can’t wait to see the girls perform. Caitlin and Bridget Justin’s girlfriend are both performing xo Just found out this morning to watch the game Matthew is umpiring there is an entrance free. Feeling torn. On one hand huge accomplishment for Matt on the other I have not found umpiring to be a spectator sport lol Now to get organised for my hot date with my boyfriend. Out to umpire dinner.

Umpire Dinner Brisbane
Umpire Dinner Brisbane

Day 30 is here YAY! Really happy with my results can’t wait to see how I go on the maintenance for a month. Matt measurements were even more impressive but will leave that for him to write his own post.  My mum arrived on Friday been good catching up. Houseful of kids all weekend. Huge thank you to my cuz Mal getting us some gyprock which will help with our reno xo and Matt, Justin, and Bridget for helping us to collect it. Xo  Yay! Lachlan found a car picking it up today! Now to sort out rego and transfer next week. Not having much luck Lockie rolled Matthew’s Proton and wrote it off, he needed stitches had mild whiplash but ok.

I really dislike winter and can’t wait for the warmer months for us to get out and about a bit more but we are slowly getting momentum. Have recently caught up with some of our good, closest and new friends over the year juggling between footy commitments with Cherry and Ritchie, Bromheads, Dwyers, Sue, Kellie-Anne, Cheryl, Nikki D, Tracey, Bowers, Beauclercs, and my two cousins Gav, Erika and Mal, Leanne and of course all of their kids. Some of which have not had a chance to catch up with in over 12 months due to busy lives and schedules not aligning.  There are many more on my hit list and trying to make the time is tricky but so worth it!! Have missed you all like crazy xo  I feel the winds of change finally coming…. can’t wait just quietly!!!

Oct Lockie’s car is registered YAY! back to 2 cars. Lockies room is coming together nicely and Lockie turned 18. Matthew took me for a massage for our anniversary. Its amazing how a massage can change your mood… Went in grumpy came out better and diffused. Was definitely what I needed. really happy with my cleanse results… Felt great to hear the massage lady comment on how great and healthy we both looked seeing she had only meet us an hour before. Mother daughter bonding moment waxed Caity’s legs for the first time. Went away to Caloundra for our Anniversary. Great food for lunch. Then a proposal was made. She said YES!

Nov Lovely cuppa yesterday with Natalie, Damien, James, Matthew, Nanny, Thomas and Matilda. Got attacked by Alice when I took her chick to show Matilda lol. Never long enough visit called short we had to hit Bris Vegas for my 25 year school reunion. Xo  Great family sleepover and morning at the seaside pools with Damien, Natalie, James, and Matilda, Nanny, Matthew, Justin, Thomas, Caitlin and Bridget. Thank you for having us xo. Dinner date with Matthew and I am trying Indian for the first time, was amazing. Awards night crept round quickly and Caity and Justin both received Silver Academic Awards, so so proud of you both.

Awards Night 2013
Awards Night 2013

Dec I’m an aunty again! Welcome to Ebony my new niece. I know Katherine and her family can now relax and enjoy her and get ready for Christmas peacefully after a very stressful 2 months of pregnancy. Huge congratulations to her and Mark she is just beautiful and we cant wait to meet her. xoxox  Went away to Newcastle for a week to stay with my lovely Nikki B had a very productive week with Nikki and the kids… has been great xo Ok been back from Newcastle a week Matthew nearly stands on a baby brown snake whilst helping hang washing and Chelsea saved us on the weekend. Then today Buttons had another one in front yard this afternoon. And Lucy just bought a baby snake in with a white head and black spot on it as a gift. I was happy to be home lol. After an emotional roller coaster this year highs, lows and craziness. I found and got my best friend back. Our family is back on track. We have a lot of changes to come can’t wait to see where 2015 takes us. Happy new year to all of our family and friends hope you have a great night and 2015 brings you happiness and wonderful memories xoxo. We had a great new year and celebrated at Southbank with Caitlin, Justin and Bridget, Damien, Nat and Matilda, and Lcokie and his friends Josh, Tiff and Toby was lots of fun.

Lockie and friends
Lockie and friends
Justy and Bridget
Justy and Bridget